The Irving M. Klein International String Competition, organized by the California Music Center, invites young musicians aged 15 to 23 to participate. Having completed 38 successful years of promoting talented young string players worldwide, the Klein Competition held its final round today at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Emad Zolfaghari, a violist, emerged as the grand prize winner, receiving $5,000 and performance contracts with esteemed orchestras such as the Peninsula and Santa Cruz Symphonies, Gualala Arts Chamber Series, and others, totaling a value of $13,000.
Audrey Goodner, a violinist, secured the second prize consisting of a cash award of $3,500 and performance contracts valued at $5,500, including a performance opportunity with the San José Chamber Orchestra. This prize is given in memory of Elaine H. Klein by Ruth Short.
The third prize was awarded to Ray Ushikubo, a violinist, along with $2,500 provided by Judith and David Anderson in memory of Milton Preves.
Two fourth prizes, each amounting to $1,500, were given to Blaire Kim, in memory of Jerry Lee Klein, and Vincent Garcia-Hettinger, provided by Peter Gelfand and Sharon Childress.
In addition to her second prize, Audrey Goodner received the Pablo Casals Prize for delivering the best performance of a solo Bach work. Ray Ushikubo was honored with the Allen R. Weiss and Susan E. Weiss Memorial Prize for delivering the best performance of the commissioned work by Gity Razaz. Each of them will receive $500 for these special prizes.
Semifinalists who were not awarded a named prize will receive $1,000 each.
The jury panel consisted of renowned musicians and experts in the field, including violinist Glenn Dicterow, violist Karen Dreyfus, cellist and the 2014 Klein first prizewinner Zlatomir Fung, this year's commissioned composer Gity Razaz, bassist Harold Robinson, and conductors Daniel Stewart and Barbara Day Turner.
Past winners of the Klein Competition include Jennifer Koh, Mark Kosower, Vadim Gluzman, Jennifer Frautschi, Alban Gerhardt, Nikki Chooi, Teng Li, Francesca dePasquale, Oliver Herbert, Frank Huang, Tessa Lark, and Robert deMaine.